NEW MEXICO AIDS POISONED WATERFOWL
Last week a dozen state and federal biologists, armed with nets and carried by propeller-driven, shallow draft boats, cruised over Elephant Butte Lake's 20 square miles of drought-exposed mud flats in a remarkable, dawn-to-dusk rescue campaign. The objects of their solicitude were sick ducks, victims of virulent botulism aggravated by fermentation of weed exposed by the drought. In the past month workers like Roe E. Meyer and Charles R. Hayes (above and left) scooped up ducks at the rate of 300 a day, hustled them ashore for antitoxin inoculations and put them in a fresh pond to recuperate. Despite these efforts some 8,000 birds have died and a far worse mortality is feared with heavy fall migrations due to start. Rain last weekend offered some encouragement, but a good deal more is needed to eliminate the danger to south-bound ducks.